New govt to review all decisions of caretaker govt, says Oli

  • Lowering age for social security allowance to cost government exchequer Rs 35 billion annually

Kathmandu, January 25

CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli, who is tipped to be the next prime minister, said the new government would review all the decisions taken by the caretaker government and revoke the ones that could be against the constitution, law and national interest.

Speaking at a press conference at UML’s headquarters here today, Oli criticised the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government for lowering the age for senior citizens’ allowance from 70 to 65 years. Oli said the decision could empty the national coffers, leading to bankruptcy. He said the Deuba-led government decided to provide additional Rs 1 lakh to earthquake victims to gain cheap popularity.

He said the social security related decision of the government was taken with mala fide intention. “We need to make a national policy for social security allowances,” he said. Oli claimed that the erstwhile UML-led government was the first to announce senior citizen allowance in 1994 and the NC had criticised the decision.

He claimed the decision could add a burden of Rs 35 billion per year on the national exchequer. Previously, people aged 70 years and above were receiving Rs 2,000 a month as social security allowance.  According to the Bureau of Statistic, the country has 636,431 people in the age group of 65-69 years. To provide them the allowance the government has to allocate nearly Rs 1.5 billion per month.

He also accused the government of arbitrarily distributing government funds to its cronies, putting strain on the economy.

Oli issued a press release at the programme claiming that the caretaker government was hell bent on disturbing the economy and state organs. “We warn the government to stop all unjustifiable and immoral activities and we draw the attention of all not to be a part of the decisions that will harm the nation in the long run,” the release stated.

Oli said the golden handshake announced by the government for civil servants would add extra burden on the nation.

He said newly elected lawmaker Nawa Raj Silwal’s accusation that he faced threat from the government could not be dismissed lightly.

He alleged that ruling parties were prolonging the electoral process with mala fide intention.

Replying to a journalist’s query on UML’s views on the court’s decision on Rajiv Gurung alias Dipak Manange, Oli said, “He is an independent member of a provincial assembly and the court will decide his case.”